The season of good will is almost upon us, and I would like to be the first to request a gesture of charity and kindness in supporting a worthy cause. Please spare a thought for those poor lost souls supporting ‘big clubs’ nowhere near their home town and donate just an ounce of common sense, humility and intelligence to those in desperate need.
Now on the surface, the glory supporter epidemic may appear to be a lost cause. The rapid increase of ‘Red Devil’s disease cases of the 90s reshaped our population forever. One in every six people in the world now suffers with this terrible affliction, delusions of grandeur and smugness being the most common symptoms. Even more worrying, are the relatively new strands such as ‘Chelski Syndrome’ and ‘City-it is.’ The most common causes of these epidemics come through fluctuations of wealth and exposure to large amounts of silverware. The results are catastrophic, immediately the glory supporter will shed the average perceptions of reality for one that suits their new found shallow existence. The exhilaration attached to the small club’s siege mentality is lost. The opportunities for the ecstasy attached to a scrappy 1-0 win against a Southampton, Wigan or Reading will never be known. The roller coaster of emotions that throw you from the depths of despair and fears of relegation, only to experience the unbridled joy of seeing your team’s total points for the season tick over from 39 to 40 is in a completely different universe to those who regularly see around a hundred points a season. Even worse, the local derby has become non-existent, in its place fans all over the country shout in pubs at games between two cities that they have never been within a hundred miles of.
The over exposure to silverware can have many an adverse effect on football fans, but there is hope. The fantastic work done at Anfield and at the Emirates in recent seasons shows, that even the most hardened glory supporter can in fact go several years without meaningful success and cures such as Andy Carroll and Jordan Henderson have helped cement this recovery. With your help, we can save even more.
Ignore the senile comments of how your team isn’t as good as theirs when you’re trying to watch the match this Sunday. Ignore the constant outcries of tactical nouce that bears no resemblance to that of a knowledgeable fan such as you. Convince this poor soul to visit a local game. A game that may not be a sell-out, be littered with internationals or indeed provide a goal and with hope and perseverance we may convert these lost individuals back into the realms of common sense and decency and get them to follow a local team. With your help they will learn to truly experience the beautiful game in all its intended glory. A game where twenty two men battle for the most precious commodity, points. They would experience a game where winning can come as a pleasant surprise rather than a forgone conclusion and truly appreciate what the gladiators before them have achieved. I for one believe that safety and mid table mediocrity mean so much more to some individuals than a cup win for United, City or Chelsea because these fans have experienced the low and have genuine ties to the club.
I may be facetious, I may be even just jealous, I may be deluded, but I know that even a sarcastic little blog such as this will incense some, but I believe that a vast majority will feel the same. If you happen to be a supporter of a big club, the reality is it is the small local clubs that need your help. Look past the fashionable status of your clubs and please just give the Rochdales, the Middlesbroughs or even the Stokes of this world a try. You never know, you might realise it’s about a little more than ‘my team’s better than yours.’